Changing snow cover and the net mass balance of Storglaciären, northern Sweden

Richard Essery, Richard M. Lucas, Eleri Evans

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

4 Citations (SciVal)

Abstract

The spatial and temporal variability of seasonal snow cover in glacierized catchments has important implications for the net mass balance of alpine glaciers. This study examines the relationship between changing snowpack volume, the resulting winter balance and the net mass balance of Storglaciären, northern Sweden. Using a conceptual model, the net seasonal snow input to the glacier is simulated daily for 16 years from 1990. From this the annual snow accumulation and winter balance are calculated. The model outputs are compared with snowlines delineated from classified aerial photographs, ASTER and Landsat 7 ETM+ satellite imagery, and with measured Storglaciären winter balances. The results of the model indicate variability in the winter balance over the study period, though there is a slightly negative trend overall. The highest winter balances and seasonal snow volumes occurred in the early 1990s and correspond with positive net mass balances. However, the slightly negative trend in winter balance and decreased net seasonal snow volumes suggested by the model, combined with the measured increasing trend in mass lost due to ablation, have resulted in decreasing glacier net mass balances and a corresponding rise in ELA over the study period.
Original languageEnglish
Pages199-204
Number of pages6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 01 Oct 2008

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